Research and Learning Manager - based in JHB/Nairobi/Lagos
Founders Factory Africa – Impact /
Be a part of building the most powerful growth engine for African startups. Founders Factory Africa (FFA) exists to create a thriving African startup economy that drives prosperity across Africa. We are venture builders dedicated to solving some of Africa’s biggest challenges and capitalising on its incredible potential by leveraging market and tech opportunities. We seek to build an ecosystem that supports authentic innovation, and our goal is to be the best growth engine for entrepreneurs across Africa and beyond. We believe by supporting entrepreneurship and innovation, we will unlock employment opportunities and drive inclusive growth across the continent.
FFA is looking to hire a full-time Research and Learning Manager to support the execution of our research and learning agenda, a core aspect of our overall impact strategy. The successful candidate will be part of our newly-formed Embedded Impact and Learning team and will report to the Embedded Impact and Learning Director while working closely with different FFA teams to support various formative and summative research and learning activities to both validate our current impact and inform future FFA strategy. The role will also entail the line management of 2-4 research/data
● Develop/refine FFA’s research and learning agenda and oversee its implementation, in line with the broader impact (EIL) strategy and MEL plan
● Support the development and implementation of high-quality MEL approaches and tools to enable FFA to track and report on progress and results and make informed decisions about implementation
● Identify and build relationships with potential research and learning partners (research institutions, networks, etc.)
● Convene and coordinate a research advisory board with pan-African researchers and key stakeholders to advise and collaborate on FFA’s research agenda
● Oversee the end-to-end research process for ecosystem studies, venture impact validation studies, and other impact-focused research
○ For external research: source, contract and manage relationships with research partners and key stakeholders; provide input into/quality assure research design, tools and outputs
○ For in-house studies: lead on (or contribute to) study design/tool development; coordinate and guide the internal research team on data collection and analysis; support the team to synthesize and present findings
● Collate, quality assure and conduct analysis on data from FFA’s routine MEL and IMM processes to generate insights and support reporting
● Develop shareable/actionable knowledge products (e.g. slide decks, research factsheets, one-pager overviews, case studies, etc) for internal and/or external use.
● Collaborate closely with communications teams to disseminate knowledge products through events, FFA’s online knowledge platform and other channels.
● Coordinate internal reflection and learning sessions with FFA teams to capture insights and ensure that learning (e.g., from research and routine activities/data collection) gets shared and taken up within the organisation
● Minimum of five years of relevant experience, including at least 2 years in a similar role
● Master’s degree or equivalent in social sciences, international development, or other relevant field
● Strong command of research and evaluation and/or impact measurement methodologies and approaches, including theories of change, logic models, evaluation frameworks, survey research/ lean data approaches, etc. Familiarity with systems change frameworks and measurement approaches is preferred.
● Experience deploying a variety of qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation methodologies and tools to help organisations (preferably startups/enterprises) measure/understand their impact
● Demonstrated ability to use data and evidence and apply learning to drive improvements in performance (exploring interesting questions isn’t enough; you have to be able to identify the areas where research and evaluation will lead to an improvement in FFA’s impact/ways of working)
● Appetite for collecting and analysing data to produce meaningful reports to diverse stakeholders and audiences
● Project management experience, including running multiple projects simultaneously
● Excellent oral and written communication skills to deliver presentations and reports to a range of stakeholders in a clear, inspiring, and confident way
● Strong relationship management skills; the ability to establish effective working relationships with people at all levels, internally and externally
● A self-starter who thrives in an autonomous role, with excellent prioritization, self-organization, and execution skills and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment against deadlines
● Strong critical and creative thinking skills; a proactive approach to solving problems
● Experience in data visualisation tools like Power BI, google studio, QlikView, or Tableau is a plus
● Knowledge of venture building, accelerators, and/or impact investing and experience working with early-stage startups in Africa is a bonus
● Based in Johannesburg, Nairobi, or Lagos